It wasn’t long ago that quarterback Zach Wilson was considered the future of the New York Jets franchise. The team used the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft on him coming out of BYU and had hopes that he would elevate the team to new heights.
Wilson fell woefully short of even the lowest expectations. While the team did manage to win five of his nine starts last season, his performance was poor. He made no strides from his rookie season in New York, even taking steps back in some regards.
As a result of his ineptitude, the Jets came into the offseason seeking out an upgrade at quarterback. Owner Woody Johnson made it clear that was the team’s biggest need and to do whatever it took to find one.
General manager Joe Douglas accomplished that feat when he landed Aaron Rodgers from the Green Bay Packers. He will now be taking over as the team’s starter, which will push Wilson into a backup role.
A demotion like that only two years into your career would break some players. However, Wilson is reportedly taking well to it. Jets’ head coach Robert Saleh praised Wilson for how he has handled the situation thus far and the work that he has put in this offseason.
“I think it’s been good,” Saleh said. “I thought Zach had a really nice day [Monday]. He’s been a sponge. I think Zach’s handled this as good as a professional can handle this. I’m excited for him because I think he’s approaching this in a way where I think he can grow from this. There’s no doubt in my mind that Zach is going to get so much better through this experience. I am confident that he is going to turn into the player that we know he can be.”
Wilson should take advantage of sitting behind a player such as Rodgers as he has a ton of knowledge to bestow upon a younger player. As Saleh points out, this is a great opportunity for Wilson and the Jets are confident he will come out as a better player because of it.
No one knows how much longer Rodgers is going to play. He strongly contemplated retirement this offseason before committing to play for the Jets. The starting job could be up for grabs again in a year or two and if Wilson excels as the backup he could have the inside track to retake the starting job down the road.